Happy Memorial Day every one!
We've got 94 days until a Bronco storm hits East Lansing...but that number has yet to be assigned, so since the spot's been vacated by a linebacker, let's go that route—today, I'll highlight Ben Weaver
#94, Ben Weaver, True Freshman, LB
Weight: 225 lbs.
High School: Klein High School, Klein, TX
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Weaver is a testament to the Broncos increased presence in the state of Texas, and one of 6 from the Lonestar State to sign on with the Broncos with the 2012 class. Weaver was an all-district performer at Klein High both his junior and senior seasons after racking up a combined 198 tackles (25 for loss), 6 forced fumbles and an INT. Ben's efforts also saw a whole host of schools extend offers, as he chose the Broncos over standing invites from Air Force, Cal, Houston, Louisville, McNeese State, Navy, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, and Utah. Yes, Weaver is quite the linebacking prospect...but as Levar Burton used to say—you don't have to take my word for it:
Drink it in.
2-time all-district selection. Multi-sport letter winner (football and soccer), and member of
Skull and Bones National Honor Society.
In a 2010 game, Weaver scored a linebacking "hat trick" by sacking the quarterback, running back, and equipment manager at the same time.
It's no coincidence that I decided to highlight Weaver today. The number 94 has been synonymous with DE/MLB Byron Hout for the last four seasons, and now that Hout has graduated and moved on—the Broncos find themselves looking for another 4-year run-stuffer. I do believe that the staff has found that in Weaver. Not exactly an under-the-radar recruit—a host of schools were after the talented Weaver last recruiting cycle, and many speculated that the late offer from SEC-bound Texas A&M would have him backtrack on his verbal commitment, but luckily for the Broncos, Weaver stayed true to his word. Now, the Broncos have another solid linebacker to add instant depth to the roster, but will Weaver play in 2012? My answer may surprise you, because I think that answer is "no".
A year ago, another Hout-esque MIKE backer joined the squad and played as a true frosh—a player by the name of Blake Renaud. With Renaud's solid freshman campaign in his back pocket and a stellar Spring that saw him haul in at least 5 INTs, it looks like he'll be called upon to sew up the middle of the field for the Broncos. Senior Tommy Smith also has been solid in reserve and he should be able to lock down the other spot in the rotation. Given that the Broncos will likely stick with their 4-2-5 alignment again this year, it seems unnecessary that they'd "need" Weaver outside an injury occurring. Of course, Coach Kwiatkowski may be dreaming up some fresh defensive alignments for the year that will put more emphasis on a 3 LB set, but even so, I think that JC Percy is more than capable of holding one of those 3 slots and I expect some LB play to be handled by whomever the newly-minted "STUD" backer (Shea McClellin's spot) ends up being.
Don't get me wrong. Weaver is absolutely talented enough to play this year, and with the emphasis on special teams, may just yet. But, because of the early development of Renaud, I don't think it will be as necessary to plug a true frosh into that mix in 2012. I see Weaver and Renaud being quite a tandem in the end, however, two very productive, big-bodied backers that should keep Boise State's run-stuffing ways alive and well.
Completely made up fact
People are often strongly discouraged from "messing with Texas" and frankly, the reason has been Weaver's presence there.